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Am I narcissistic? Where does self respect stop and narcissism start?(6 Posts)
I am NC with my NPD dad and have been for 4 years. I have also been NC with my NPD sister for 2.5 years. I went NC with both because their narc tendancies where dragging me down and I couldn't cope with their games, vying for attention in the family, bitchiness etc.
My sister played the martyr for 2 years and apparently wanted to reconcile, but then I called her out on something familial that I'd been dragged into and she went nuclear and decided to go NC with me.
I've various other threads on here about how I struggle to reconcile the fact that my other 3 siblings appear to condone my dad's behaviour, in particular, and that they think we're just as bad as each other. Over the past year I have withdrawn from the whole family to cope with this but not gone NC.
Something has come up recently which means I'm yet again on the border of going NC with them all as I'm just fed up of their disloyalty and ability to turn a blind eye to injustices towards me. Obviously it's easier for them to do this as I'm out of the family environment anyway.
But now I'm wondering if I'm narcissistic too and just reacting against the fact that my family aren't feeding my need to feel special? I do feel at the point of just cutting everyone out of my life who I feel drags me down or where there's an undercurrent of unpleasantness. But is this just me being narcissitic?
Do you have relationships outside your family that are not like this?
When you withdraw from your family is it to protect yourself or to punish them?
Are you more emotionally stable when you are lower contact ?
You are allowed to think you are special - you are infact unique
Its horribly easy to wonder, "Is it me, am I the problem?" I doubt your family self reflect like this instead they are projecting it outwards as normal -
they think we're just as bad as each other
Its very hard work to see youself as the normal one when your whole family behave one way and you can see it is destructive and damaging behaviour, perhaps your distance and different personality type help with this. You seem to be judging yourself harshly in an attempt to normalize to their standard- but it wont work, because you clearly dont identify with their behaviour.
Theres a lovely truism " If you keep doing what you've always done you'll keep getting what you've always got" and its very horribly accurate. You can clearly identify the need for change for your own well being - so stop looking inwards with blame and guilt.
Do something new - get something new.
NPD is diagnosed by a consultant psychiatrist (ICD-10, F60.8). If you think you have one then do as (I assume) your other family members did and seek a referral to secondary mental health services for assessment.
Chic....I had a mum who was NPD. She contaminated myself/siblings with her behaviour. I was always out of step, and they all condoned each others's actions. I constantly questioned myself in light of this, and do so since she died. I have ltd contact with siblings. I'm always left feeling raw after a visit. Sometimes I feel like one half of my brain argues with the other. It's a daily learning curve. I feel for you. BTW I'm the oldest.
the fact that you're questioning and analysing yourself, feeling the emotions and establishing boundaries to stay far away as possible from their toxicity instead of getting involved in their dramas - is enough for me to think you're not a narcissist.
my family dynamics are similar. i went very low contact for years and we're now at a point where i don't actually get drawn into or blamed for dramas (maybe cos i hardly see them ) but i'm still on the 'outside' as always - which suits me fine. i am totally nc with a narc sis - and though the family are aware of her antics they continue to condone her behaviour through denial, refusal to discuss it and deal with it, they didn't support me either when i stood up to her. so now i choose to only see them without her around. it sounds like your family too are choosing the 'avoidance is the best way for us to have a peaceful life' option.
your best option might be to go totallty nc with the toxic ones and only see the others on your own terms.
Thanks all. I'm feeling pretty down at the moment so it's good to know that I'm probably not narc.
DH agrees that my family members are all appalling to me so I know I'm not imagining it. I just began to question if my going NC with them all was akin to going nuclear in response to their holding me responsible for the fractured family and that made me narc.
I do have very positive relationships outside of my birth family with some nice friendships. But I'm reaching my tolerance of ones which make me feel on edge or being judged, and I'm imagining a life where I only have nice friends. I had an exchange with one recently where I was wondering if I'd done something wrong or to upset them and then thought maybe I'd had enough of that friendship.
Maybe when my family have all retreated back into the shadows I'll be right again and will be able to tolerate the no-so-perfect friendships. I think I'm just at saturation point with the unpleasantness at the moment.
Btw they aren't clinically diagnosed with NPD but both tick more than 5 characteristics (different ones to each other) and the results of these characteristics is destructive. If it helps me to understand that it's their problem not mine, that's enough for me.
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